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Dumfries and Galloway attractions

Dumfries and Galloway makes the most of its natural beauty and fascinating history and these are some of the best attractions to visit. Galloway Forest Park covers a large and lush 300 square miles for walking or driving through and Galloway is one of only a handful of accredited Dark Sky Parks in the world. A popular family day out is Mossburn Animal Rescue Centre and Community Farm at Hightae, near Lockerbie, which rescues and shelters unwanted and neglected animals. The most famous figure from these parts is poet Robert Burns, and a good place to begin tracing his story is at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Dumfries.

A rich history makes for many of Dumfries and Galloways attractions. Gretna Green Famous Blacksmiths Shop is where runaway couples have come to marry since 1754. Audio-visual displays bring the story to life.  At nearby Eastriggs, the Devils Porridge Museum tells of possibly the greatest munitions factory ever. Dumfries Museum tells the story of the land and people of the region through fossil footprints, tools, weapons and stone carvings. Installed in 1836, The Camera Obscura is on the top floor and offers a panoramic view of Dumfries and the surrounding countryside. The Creetown Gem Rock Museum at Newton Stewart is renowned worldwide for its collections.

Our picks

Galloway Activity Centre
Galloway Activity Centre

Loch Ken, Shirmers Bridge, Parton, Castle Douglas DG7 3NQ

Established in 1988, the Galloway Activity Centre has grown from a small sailing centre into one of Scotland’s largest outdoor multi-activity centres attracting customers from across the globe. The centre is now the lead family provider for outdoor activities in Dumfries and Galloway. Along with a variety of outdoor activities and tuition there is a range of esoteric, budget and luxury accommodation. Visit website

Scottish Industrial Railway Centre
Steam train

Dunaskin Bridge, Dalmellington Rd, Waterside, Patna, Ayr KA6 7JH

At the Scottish Industrial Railway Centre you can take a two mile round trip on the brake van hauled by one of the steam or diesel locomotives. See the UK’s only working fireless locomotive in operation. Visit the museum and see the historically significant locomotives, exhibits and displays. The Scottish Industrial Railway Centre also has an indoor model railway, train simulator, cafe and shop. Visit website

The Devil’s Porridge Museum

Annan Rd, Eastriggs DG12 6TF

Discover the remarkable WW1 story of the greatest munitions factory on Earth and the extraordinary lives of the munitions girls who helped to win the war at The Devil’s Porridge Museum. Visit website

Solway Aviation Museum
Solway Aviation Museum

Aviation House, Carlisle Airport, Crosby on Eden CA6 4NW

Based on the site of RAF Crosby-on-Eden, a former WWII fighter base, the Solway Aviation Museum has been painstakingly created by a team of highly committed volunteers over a 50-year period. The museum tells the story of aviation in the region, its airfields, its characters and its vital role during WWII. Visit website

Broughton House & Garden

12 High St, Kirkcudbright DG6 4JX

Right in the heart of Kirkcudbright, a pretty artists’ colony on the Solway Firth, Broughton House & Garden, an 18th-century Georgian house is the former home of Scottish painter E A Hornel, one of the Glasgow Boys. Painstakingly preserved and recreated, it’s a living museum of Hornel’s life and work, packed to the rafters with his paintings and those of his contemporaries, as well as his vast library, which includes one of the world’s biggest collections of works by Robert Burns. Visit website

Like these? Try these…

Dumfries and Galloway restaurants and cafes

Dumfries and Galloway shopping

Dumfries and Galloway nightlife venues

Dumfries and Galloway cultural attractions

Image credits: ©Galloway Activity Centre; onepony/;; Solway Aviation Museum

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